By Michelle Tian

The world is scary. And I’m not referring to the COVID-19 pandemic or the tragic California wildfires, I’m talking about the fact that too many people are afraid to shed their outer skin and let everyone see them for who they are. It’s sad, really. We’ve grown up in a world where there’s an ideal body type, a desired personality and a certain ‘way’ to be. And I hate that. 

We can’t — and shouldn’t — control who we are, and others shouldn’t judge us for our imperfect flaws. I’m not going to say “nobody is perfect,” but I want to highlight a few things that we need to start normalizing as a society if we want to become a more loving, empathetic and accepting world. 

Acne

I’ve struggled with my skin for a while and whenever I’m having a breakout, I feel extremely self-conscious. I want to hide myself and my skin when I go out because I know that everyone can see my acne and is potentially judging me. But why? Why do I feel the need to hide it? Breakouts are hormones. They’re normal. Why have we automatically assumed that acne makes us ugly? 

News flash: it doesn’t. It makes us human. 

Body weight and size

In case you need a reminder: stop judging people based on their body type. It’s shallow and you have no idea what their story is. They may have a disorder or they may be going through something. The point is that everyone should be confident and healthy and even if they’re not, it’s not your place to tell them how they should look.

Men showing emotions

I’m not sure when in time we decided that men aren’t allowed to cry, but it needs to stop being a standard. Society acts like men are made out of metal: emotionless and hard to break. Vulnerability is a beautiful thing, and we should relish in it rather than push it away. Stop telling people to “man up” when they bare their soul to you. 

It’s a toxic stereotype and we have no room for that negativity. 

Bra straps showing

Girls wear bras, bras have straps — mostly. I don’t understand why people feel the need to tell me that “my bra strap is showing.” It’s just a piece of clothing that all women wear. Don’t single someone out because their bra strap is a little closer to their collarbone than you’d expect.

Body hair

I once had someone tell me that I had hair on my legs. Like, thanks, Sherlock. 

People act like having hair on your body is something to be ashamed of, that it’s not normal. But getting a blade and cutting off hair is? If you’re not going to judge me for the hair on my head, then why are you judging me for the hair on my arms? Make it make sense. 

Being a person of color 

It’s 2020, yet somehow, racism still exists. The color of your skin is not some kind of eye into your soul nor is it something to judge someone by. I could grab a marker and paint every person on this planet green and it wouldn’t make a difference, except for the fact that you’re green and you might get skin poisoning. We all bleed the same blood and that’s the only thing that should matter. 

Being any sexuality but straight

People don’t wake up one day and say, “Hey, I feel like I want to be straight today.” No. Just no. You don’t get to decide your sexuality or identity so how about we stop seeing someone as “less human” over something they have no control over? Instead of judging, try being more accepting.